Simplified Connectivity of Dell M1000e to LANs

Simple Connect:

Simple Connect is a feature that is included on PowerConnect blade switches (Dell PowerConnect M8024/ Dell PowerConnect M6348/ Dell PowerConnect M6220). When this feature is enabled, the administrator can simply map internal ports to external ports for traffic aggregation, with feature called “Port Aggregator”. This provides the ability to aggregate traffic from multiple downlinks to a single (or fewer) uplinks and provides port consolidation at the edge of blade server chassis. A few of the benefits from Simple Connect include:

  1. Ease of deployment/management for I/O Modules for Blade Server connectivity –Is simple to configure; just map the internal ports to the external ports, assign a VLAN to the group (if required). This feature automatically configures multiple external ports into an LACP trunk group.
  2. Reduce involvement of network admin in blade deployments –Eliminates the need to understand STP, VLANs, & LACP groups.
  3. Simple Connect is completely interoperable. Full integration of PowerConnect blade switches with 3rd party I/O H/W (Cisco, etc.)
  4. Provides cable aggregation benefit offered by integrated blade switches.
  5. Simple Connect feature provides loop-free operation without using STP.
  6. It works across a stack of switches (M6220 and M6348) so that you can now manage switches as one via the easy-to-use interface.

Port Aggregator:

The Port Aggregator feature minimizes the administration required for managing the Dell PowerConnect M6220/M6348/M8024. The Dell PowerConnect M6220/M6348/M8024 are Layer 3, Gigabit Ethernet switch blades for the Dell PowerEdge M1000e. The Port Aggregator feature minimizes the administration required for managing the Blade based switches. When the switch is operating in Simple mode, the administrator can map internal ports to external ports without having to know anything about Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN), Link Aggregation or other L2/L3 protocols.

Technique behind Simple Connect:

Create Port Aggregation Groups (PAGs)

  • The downlink and uplink ports are grouped with a reserved VLAN, so that traffic can only be flooded within that group, and cannot go across.
  • Uplink ports are enabled as members of LAGs (ie: form a Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) trunk group) to connect to uplink switches.
  • Enabling multiple downlink traffic aggregation to fewer uplinks with load balancing capabilities.

Below are some examples how of the Port Aggregator would be configured:


M6220 PA

M6220 Stacked:

m6220 stacked PA


M8024 PA

M8024 Stacked:

M8024 Stacked PA

To enable Simple Connect you must change the operational mode of the switch from “Normal” to “Simple”. A user can do this via CLI, Web, and SNMP interfaces. The Port Aggregator feature is only available when the switch is in the “Simple” operational mode. “Simple” mode is disabled on the switch by default. Below is a short demo on configuring Simple Switch mode.